Freight Restrictions: Changing Deadlines

Given the conflict resulting from the restrictions on the time that cargo transport units can remain in the countries of the region due to the health crisis, the deadlines for carrying out the procedures were modified.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

In early May, it was reported that following the outbreak of covid-19, Salvadoran, Costa Rican and Panamanian authorities had decided that pilots of cargo transport units entering the country would have only 72 hours to carry out border formalities and to unload and reload goods from vehicles.

Arguing that three days is very little time to do all the paperwork, transporters expressed their discontent and asked the authorities to lift the restrictions.

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In order to overcome the difficulties, a meeting was held between the regional authorities. reviews that "... According to information published by the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat (SIECA), Guatemala and Nicaragua will give 90 days, Honduras and Costa Rica 10 days, and Panama four days. El Salvador maintains only 72 hours, while Belize only gives one day. On the other hand, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica left the 'mutual correspondence' established, meaning that El Salvador's truck drivers will only be given 72 hours."

Guillermo Massana, president of the Association of Cargo Transporters of El Salvador (ATCASAL), explained that "... For us it is a mistake, because there will be reciprocity. If El Salvador is going to be with 72 hours, they (Costa Rica) are going to be with 72 hours for the Salvadorans, and so is Honduras."

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Given this scenario of health crisis, the free transit of goods in Central America has been interrupted in recent weeks.

Cargo Transport: Honduras Replies to Costa Rica

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After the Costa Rican government decided to impose several restrictions on heavy transport units entering its territory, the Honduran government decided to grant Costa Rican pilots only 72 hours in the country.

The difficulties affecting intraregional land trade are increasing, since arguing that it is trying to mitigate the spread of covid-19, the Costa Rican presidency decided that as of May 18 only transporters who make direct transit from border to border would enter Costa Rican territory, whose units must be subject to police surveillance.

Central America: Threats to the Supply Chain

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Since El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama have set a 72-hour time limit for freight drivers operating in the region, hundreds of units have decided to halt their operations as a measure of pressure.

Due to the health crisis resulting from the covid-19 outbreak, Salvadoran, Costa Rican and Panamanian authorities decided that the drivers of the cargo transport units entering the country will have only 72 hours to make the formalities at the borders, and to unload and reload the goods from the vehicles.